By Edd K. Usman
The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) on Thursday, Oct. 19, cited the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA) for helping generate almost $3 billion in revenues and 120,000 jobs in 2015.
DICT secretary Rodolfo A. Salalima told participants at SoftCon.PH 2016 at the Marriott Grand Ballroom that the software sector continued to exhibit one of the fastest growths in the local IT-BPM industry in the last five years. IT-BPM is information technology-business process management.
SoftCon.PH, meanwhile, is the PSIA’s annual conference. Tech leaders, software developers, and other stakeholders of around 450-strong attended the one-day event in Pasay City.
“We finally breached the $2-billion mark in revenues and we now employ more than 120,000, as of last year,” he said in a speech read for him by DICT executive consultant Monchito Ibrahim.
The DICT chief projected the sector will need at least 30,000 new developers in the next four years as the Philippines scales up the value chain in the global IT services market.
Despite the bright outlook, he also pointed out that there is still “a long to go to overtake the global market leader, but I’m sure we will be able to close the gap,” referring to India.
“And with a partnership such as ours, we are confident that we would be able to move Philippines to become a leading global digital economy,” he said.
He further noted the industry’s breakthrough in making inroads in new markets, while at the same time cementing its presence in traditional markets like the United States and Japan.
“It is our shared aspiration to make the IT-BPM industry the biggest wealth creator and contributor to the national GDP (gross domestic product),” said Salalima.
Jonathan de Luzuriaga, president of PSIA, said the sector is looking at doubling the almost $3 billion revenue by 2022 to $5.7 billion to $7 billion. “We are looking at stretching our advancements all the way to 2022,” he said.
For that to be accomplished, Luzuriaga said there should be stronger collaboration between the academe and the industry to undertake the following activities:
? Improve the ?hireability? and skill sets of some 70,000 software developer-graduates yearly;
? Provide better incentives for foreign IT companies so they will come in; and
? Establish new Filipino companies that create Intellectual Property (IP) in software applications and supply the software needs of other nations.
“It is of prime importance then for DICT to work closely with PSIA to ensure that the industry growth drivers are in place,” said Salalima, noting that the DICT is a co-organizer of the event.
He also announced the launch next week of the IT-BPM industry?s ?Roadmap 2022,?, which the PSIA and the DICT co-drafted.
“We certainly hope that by closely working together, we would be able to achieve all the targets we have set upon ourselves to greater growth for this industry.” said Salalima.
The DICT chief also revealed that agency has started defining its own organizational structure to make it more attuned to the country’s aspirations for the digital economy.
“This early, we are committing to continue supporting PSIA’s initiatives to further grow its global footprint including that of Sodec Japan. We intend to continue working with you in the development of an appropriate ecosystem to grow our digital startups,” Salalima said.
He further announced the DICT’s creation of new programs, including regional coding bootcamps, university level programming competitions, and other initiatives to help develop more qualified workers for the PSIA’s sector in the IT-BPM industry.